German high court rejected police computer hacking efforts

On February 5, 2010, the German Federal Court of Justice ruled that police in Germany were not permitted to secretly access computer and Internet data stored on criminal suspects' computers without proper authorization. The Court held that police hacking is illegal because no legal framework currently exists to legitimize the activity. The practice was reportedly used by German police to investigate alleged sex offenders and their viewing of Internet child pornography. The issues of hacking and privacy have been of particular concern in Europe in light of the UK phone hacking scandal in July 2011 and subsequent investigations by UK Lord Justice Brian Leveson.

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